Question about 1984 BMW 3 Series

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My son has a 1984 528E BMW Sedan. He last started it in May, was away until July. In July the car would not start. We have discovered ONLY ONE distributor wire point is sending Spark (Front to Back of engine....3rd plug). We replaced the coil, distributor cap, new rotor, and new battery. Same symptom. They engine will start and apparently run on one cylinder at low RPM and then will just die. WHAT ELSE would cause it not to have spark on all 6 cylinders?

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How did you tell it was only sending spark to # 3 cylinder. Could be bad plug wires or very badly fouled plugs if indeed electrical, or could be an issue with the injectors or fuel system. If not sure. One quick way to test is get an inductive timing light to see if you have a spark pulse on each wire. Please give me more infor and I'll see how to help.

Posted on Aug 30, 2010

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  • redwardsa Aug 30, 2010

    Thank you for responding. After removing each of the six spark plug wires from the spark plug location (one at a time), using rubber gloves, we grounded a wire and held it close to the end of the spark plug wire as we cranked over the engine. Only the 3rd from the front plug wire gave spark. We then went back to the distributor cap and removed the wires one by one there and used the same wire to test the cap itself and the same results at that location. Just one gave spark and it was the wire going to the 3rd plug from the front. Also, without the wire to that plug, the engine would not even fire up. That is why we believe it was only running on one cylinder.

  • William Robinson
    William Robinson Aug 30, 2010

    Thanks for the clarification. Only way to a solution. There is a crank position sensor as well that may be the culprit. Look near the bottom pulley at the front of the engine and you will see a connector attached to the crank sensor. When they go bad they go completely bad. That would be the next step of the process. Sometimes the connector gets all greased and dirty. If I remember correctly you should get a reading of near 600 ohms at the sensor side of the connector (pulses between like 600 ohms and 50 ohms while engine is cranking). Let me know how you make out.

  • redwardsa Sep 12, 2010

    I did not know you posted the following solution: Thanks for the clarification. Only way to a solution. There is a crank position sensor as well that may be the culprit. Look near the bottom pulley at the front of the engine and you will see a connector attached to the crank sensor. When they go bad they go completely bad. That would be the next step of the process. Sometimes the connector gets all greased and dirty. If I remember correctly you should get a reading of near 600 ohms at the sensor side of the connector (pulses between like 600 ohms and 50 ohms while engine is cranking). Let me know how you make out. I WILL TRY THIS NEXT. SORRY FOR NOT REALIZING YOUR COMMENT EARLIER. THANKS. This is reference the 84 BMW 528e Roger Edwards. I tried the Reply, but it did not work.

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